Facts and figures

Key facts

  • 11,674 community pharmacies in England
  • 1.8 million people visit a pharmacy each day with an average person will visit a pharmacy 14 times over a year
  • 96% of the population can reach a pharmacy within 20 minutes by walking or using public transport
  • 1.08 billion prescription items were dispensed in the community in 2015
  • Around 900 pharmacies are open for 100 hours per week. Community pharmacies are open longer than GP surgeries, in the evenings and on Saturdays; many are now open on Sundays
  • Pharmacy is the third largest health profession after medicine and nursing
  • £9.27 billion was the cost of prescriptions dispensed in the community in 2015
  • For the average pharmacy over 90% of income comes from NHS related services
  • Over 90% of pharmacies have a private consultation room
  • Pharmacists came out as the most trusted profession in a recent survey of over 2,000 members of the public – 97% trusted pharmacists putting them above other key professions including opticians, dentists and GPs.

Avoiding more costly healthcare interventions

  • 92% of GPs would like more support from community pharmacy teams to help their patients take their medicines correctly
  • 3.2 million Medicine Use Reviews (MURs) carried out by 10,916 community pharmacies in 2014/15
  • Up to 8% of people that attended A&E could have been successfully treated within a pharmacy setting
  • Over 2,100 pharmacies in England are accredited as Health Living Pharmacies with over 3,500 pharmacy staff qualified as health champions
  • 60% of those using Healthy Living Pharmacies would have otherwise visited a GP for health improvement advice and 20% would not have tried to make their lifestyle more healthy
  • Nearly 10,000 pharmacies supported smokefree in January 2015 and Stoptober 2015

Supporting those most in need

  • 99% of people in the areas of highest deprivation are within a 20 minute walk of a community pharmacy helping to reduce health inequalities
  • Over 90% of prescriptions are dispensed free of charge funded by the NHS
  • In 2015 over 70% of community pharmacies delivered the national NHS flu vaccination scheme